Steve Rounds & Associates Limited

Transport Management Consultants & Compliance Specialists

Public Inquiry - Road Transport

Steve Rounds & Associates Limited transport consultants have unrivalled experience in successfully defending Operators, Directors, Transport Managers and Drivers who are called to a Public Inquiry. For a no obligation initial consultation, please contact us on 01543 54 50 50 or email

What is a Public Inquiry?

A Public Inquiry is a formal hearing called by the Traffic Commissioner determining licensing matters, whereby evidence may be called upon to help the Traffic Commissioner make a decision as to whether they will issue, vary, suspend, or revoke an Operator’s Licence.
There are many reasons a transport business may be called to Public Inquiry with the Traffic Commissioner. Some of the more common reasons include:
  • Maintenance & roadworthiness failings including S-marked PG's
  • Drivers hours & tachograph infringements
  • Loss of good repute or a criminal conviction
  • Environmental objections against your operating centre
  • Unauthorised changes to an operating centre or maintenance provider
  • Lack of financial standing
  • Undeclared material changes to your business
  • Transport Manager failing to exercise continuous & effective control
It is common for a Public Inquiry to be called following a DVSA roadside stop or compliance investigation.  Usually this will involve an inspection of your operating centre, fleet and records, and an interview under caution with a company director.

Possible outcomes from a Public Inquiry

The Traffic Commissioner has a wide range of powers they can use to regulate operator licences and the sanction(s) they can apply will depend on the seriousness of the situation, and can include:

  • Issue of a warning
  • Impose additional conditions or undertakings
  • Suspend your operators licence for a period of time
  • Reduce the number of vehicles you can operate, known as curtailment
  • Revoke your operators licence

Attendance at a Public Inquiry can have extremely serious and irreversible consequences. The revocation of an operator licence is likely to result in the end of an operator’s business, but could also have personal consequences to directors and transport managers, whilst curtailment or a suspension could have equally serious consequences.

How we can help!

In most cases, immediate and appropriate action to rectify regulatory failings can dramatically improve your chances of a successful outcome at Public Inquiry.

Once instructed, our Public Inquiry team will act quickly to:

  • Review all the evidence and allegations and give tailored, specialist advice
  • Liaise with DVSA and the Traffic Commissioner 
  • Submit written representations if appropriate
  • Work to rectify any compliance failings & implement compliant systems
  • Represent you at the Public Inquiry

At Steve Rounds & Associates Limited we understand how stressful Public Inquiries are. Even a positive outcome at an Inquiry can still result in considerable reputational damage. We leave no stone unturned to fight for the best outcome possible for our clients.

To find out more about how we can help you, please call us on 01543 54 50 50 or email for free initial, no obligation advice.